Shenzhen, China’s Silicon Valley and the richest city in southern Guangdong province, plans to add 10,000 5G base stations this year as part of a strategy to improve internet access and digital economic activity in the metropolis, according to the local authorities.
The Shenzhen municipal government’s Industry and Information Technology Bureau last week released a digital infrastructure action plan that calls for improving 5G mobile services and expanding the use of its Gigabit Ethernet fiber optic network to make the southern tech hub the fastest city in mainland China.
Shenzhen anticipates average internet download speeds of 500 megabits per second with 10,000 additional 5G base stations, according to the bureau. At the end of December, the city had more than 64,000 5G base stations deployed, according to a report by the government-run People’s Daily.
Shenzhen will work to adopt broadband connections with speeds of at least 1 gigabit per second in 40% of residential households. According to telecommunications data released earlier this month by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, only 15.6% of the country’s broadband users had connections that were faster than 1Gbps last year (MIIT).
The infrastructure action plan for Shenzhen calls for developing standards for the 5G service industry and assisting businesses in modernizing their content delivery networks (CDNs), which are composed of servers dispersed across several sites and reduce latency and load times.
Companies should make advantage of CDNs, according to the local government. In some “key digital economy districts,” the city may provide residents free cloud storage and internet data, it was noted.
For a country with the largest internet, smartphone, and e-commerce markets in the world, Chinese President Xi Jinping detailed his vision of a digital economy with 5G connectivity as its backbone and nationwide data management at its center last year.
While most people view 5G as a technical advancement over 4G, it is anticipated that the fourth industrial revolution, also known as Industry 4.0, which will hasten the automation of traditional industries, will use 5G as a major building block.
The number of reported 5G subscribers on the Hong Kong-listed carriers China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom totaled 1.09 billion as of the end of December.
According to the MIIT’s telecom data, China has 2.31 million 5G base stations at the end of last year, despite a statewide reduction in 5G investments of 2.5% from 2021.